We’ve had a few conversations of late in the Tradies in Business Facebook group, about finding the value in business support. Most tradies are slow to ask for help, or simply don’t quite know how to, but once you begin finding business support, it’s pretty hard to go back! Let’s deep dive into how the right support can help your business.
Finding The Value In Business Support
As business owners we are expected to do it all and while working in the business! It is ever so difficult to find the time to get the work done, and then get the business management side of things under control and this is where finding the value in business support becomes so important.
It is not impossible to do it all, however if you still want time to have a life, it really is. So let’s look at the types of business support that is available to tradies and see what might be of value to you.
Before we begin though, have you ever taken the time to cost yourself out as a business owner? We are told as the owners of our business, we are worth minimum $150 per hour. Most tradies find this hard to swallow, but even if you came back to your usual industry hourly rate as a master tradesperson, say $75 per hour, start by setting a rate. From there finding support makes so much more sense.
One of the very first support systems we put in place as builders, was software. First it was accounting software, then quoting and specifying software and finally scheduling tools, that were adapted from software. Let me discuss each of them individually.
Accounting software has saved us loads of time, which equals money, more than that, when it comes to tax time, it saves our accountant time which saves us heaps of money. Everything from it’s templates for invoices to ensure that all paperwork is allocated where it needs to be is so much simpler with accounting software. Having accounting software saves me at least half the time for the way I used to do things, PLUS the saving with the accountant.
Quoting and Specifying software, for us this was a game changer, because not only were we able to quote far more efficiently, but we were able to measure our success and our losses and adjust accordingly. I know there are lots of tradies who have quoting nailed, but how can you be sure if you are not analyzing at the end of each job? I cannot put into $$ how much this has saved us, from picking up quoting errors to fixing up areas in which we under quoted either time or pricing, which we could find once measured.
Scheduling Tools, these may not come in the form of software, or at least we didn’t use that type, but there are some out there. The right scheduling tools/software will save you time in communication with your team and potentially even with your clients. It was save time when the inevitable delays arrive as it will allow you to shuffle and notify all from the one place. Remember that every minute you save, is a cost saving for your business and therefor is value!
Marketing is a great area to outsource. When you find the right marketer, they will help you create a profile for your brand that not only allows for an immediate influx of work, but to keep your business front of mind to your target market.
Marketing is not generally a tradies strong point, and yet you still see so many tradie businesses with strong social media presence, these are usual outsourced. The value here is in the time you save trying to do a job you are not an expert at, and also in getting your marketing wrong. While it is easy to get wrong, it’s even easier to get right when you are trained in that area.
You wouldn’t ask an electrician to hang the plaster board, why would you expect someone who knows nothing about marketing to get it right?
There is a special type of person out there that loves paperwork. Though rare, they are amazing. I am not one of them, and neither are most tradies. So don’t do it! Outsource it. Find someone who loves doing the things you don’t, because not only do they love it, but they are efficient at it. Remember time = money, and saving time is saving money!!
Not sure you are ready for a full time employee? Then don’t find a VA (virtual assistant) to help you on your way. Typically you will pay from $35-$50 per hour for a VA and that is all. No super, no insurance you the straight hourly rate, that you can buy in a block of hours and use as you need.
VA’s or admin support can do anything from assisting with marketing, writing quotes, general paperwork, writing policies, contracts just about ANYTHING!! If you hate these jobs, there is no doubt they will be taking you longer than someone who loves them. Outsource and save time and money.
I’ve heard all the pro’s and con’s for coaching and mentoring and I would say, that if you get the right person and you are prepared to do the work, then sucess for your business is just around the corner. Even successful businesses can go next level with the right coach/mentor to help find the right direction. While you can pay anywhere from $800 per month to $2500 per month, if you feel you are receiving the value from your coach then it is worth every penny.
Coaching will provide the clarity and support your business needs. It will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with both to create a better business all round. Coaching is like taking your car to the mechanic, it provides the fine tuning necessary to keep your motor purring. With a few tweaks to the way you are currently doing business, you could make huge savings and increase your profit margin in a very short space of time.
There are lots of different ways to improve your business. One of which is joining a membership site where you can find all the business know how you might be struggling with. In the coming weeks, the Tradies in Business website will go live, and you will find membership options to help you take your business to the next level.
We all have so much to learn in business, finding a team of like minded people to work together with to ensure the sucess of our business is crucial. Tradies in Business is a place of networking, support and accountability, as well as a friendly community to be a part of.
These are just a few of the ways finding business support can be of value to your small business. The big guys don’t do it all on their own, why should we?
Do you have help in your business? What could you do with help for?